The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is launching a new installation that highlights the important role that small boats play in shaping the world we live in.

The museum, home to the National Small Boat Collection, will display eleven small boats as part of the exhibition, bringing together noteworthy boats from Cornish, UK and global history.

Highlights from the exhibition include the display of several small boats that tell compelling maritime stories. This includes the smallest ever boat to cross the Atlantic (measuring in at just 5 ft 4”), an Olympic Gold Medal-winning boat used by Sir Ben Ainslie and the Ednamair, a small dinghy which saved the lives of the Robertson family in 1972 after they became shipwrecked for more than a month in the Pacific Ocean, following a killer whale attack.

The exhibition will also platform small boats that are shaping contemporary history. In what is believed to be the first ever display of a boat of this kind by a UK museum, NMMC will present a small Zodiac dinghy, recently acquired for the National Small Boat Collection directly from UK Border Force.

The inflatable boat was intercepted by a passing tanker in the English Channel in November 2018, with its five occupants later brought to Falmouth. The Zodiac will be exhibited alongside several lifejackets, also acquired from UK Border Force, as a symbol of one of the most significant and socially relevant issues of our times.

Small Boats, Big Stories opens at National Maritime Museum, Cornwall on Friday April 19